9 Madagascar pond-herons equipped in 2021 with Argos beacons in Mayotte!
In December 2019, the GEPOMAY association fitted 6 Madagascar pond herons with GPS / UHF beacons in Mayotte and 2 new individuals with GPS / Argos beacons in December 2020. In October 2021, the equipment missions of Madagascar pond herons are coming to an end, with a last one which made it possible to equip 9 individuals with GPS / Argos beacons.
What purpose ? Increase the existing information on the feeding areas of the Madagascar pond heron, on its reproduction, its habitats and its migration in order to improve the conservation of the species.
Madagascar pond heron equipment mission © GEPOMAY
A world first coming to an end
Since 2019, GEPOMAY and LPO have been working together to equip Madagascar pond herons with telemetry equipment in order to provide crucial information on their movements and the habitats they frequent in order to protect these sites.
In 2019, GEPOMAY had equipped 6 Madagascar pond herons with GPS / UHF beacons and in 2020, 2 Madagascar pond herons with GPS / Argos beacons. These first two missions had yielded very interesting results, such as the discovery of an unknown wet meadow, the feeding site of the Madagascar pond heron. The first results had also made it possible to determine a food prospecting radius for the individuals equipped.
In October 2021, a new mission was organized by GEPOMAY and the LPO with the aim of equipping 9 Madagascar pond herons with Argos beacons. A successful mission thanks to the GEPOMAY teams and an employee of the LPO Franche-Comté, who came to help with the various missions put in place.
Madagascar pond heron © Steeve MATHIEU / GEPOMAY
The Madagascar pond heron
The Madagascar pond heron, Ardeola idae, is a small heron with beige brown plumage streaked with black and which in the breeding season presents a white plumage and a bright blue beak. This very fearful species breeds only on four islands in the world: Madagascar, Aldabra, Europa and Mayotte. Mayotte is the species’s second breeding site in terms of numbers (281 pairs recorded in 2021). This species is classified “Endangered” on the Global Red List (EN, IUCN) and “Critically Endangered” on the French Red List (CR, IUCN). In Mayotte, the species is threatened by the loss and degradation of wetlands, breeding and feeding sites for the species, by disturbance and by poaching of eggs and chicks. Predation of eggs and young by rats is suspected, but has not yet been established.